Mar
29
2012
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With Easter Week fast approaching it is time to start organising your next trip to Tasmania.

This time of year is full of exciting pastimes that will help introduce kids to the exciting world of the dramatic arts, with twice daily performances of the much-loved History Plays once again gracing Port Arthur and wowing audiences.

Holidaymakers are known to flock to the island in the autumn months to take advantage of the state's gourmet winter food fare, art, culture and jaw-dropping scenery.

But it is not just those from other states or countries that are jumping on board the idea of a winter escape, you are just as likely to see locals touring the region as anyone else. Winter is one of our favourite times. Find out why Tasmanians like their four seasons so much.

There are a number of activities and festivals that help to make this time of the year all the more special.

If you spend your Saturday happily getting lost walking through the Salamanca Markets in Hobart, or lazily browsing when the are returns to an absorbing shopping precinct on Sundays and other days, it is highly likely you will be in the mood for another unique experience.

Spend a few days after Easter and you will also catch the Easter sales. Did we say shopping?

Hobart Morning in April - image credit - bluntie-blog

Autumn Leaves Tasmania - source Dubamboo Gallery Collection

Hobart's Elizabeth Street Mall

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Mar
28
2012
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Seven days is not nearly enough time to discover the natural beauty, the rich artisan culture and people of Tasmania.

But with Easter just around the corner holidaymakers will need to stick to a tight schedule if they want to squeeze a holiday into their pre-winter break.

With this in mind, there are a number of short tours that take you from the mountains to the sea as well as few city destinations in just a short period of time.

Hobart is a great place to start your next island adventure and if you arrive on a Saturday morning, you can easily take advantage of the Salamanca Market.

Adults will no doubt make a beeline for the region’s many award-winning wines that you can pick up in nearby Coal River Valley.

While you are in the area you may want to enjoy lunching in one of the vineyard restaurants. The breathtaking views will help you to unwind. You can even Motor Trike out there on a Tour to take the un-wind further.

For those with an eye for antiques or art dealings there are a number of galleries and boutique stores to visit in Richmond – which is only a short drive further on.

After an afternoon of exploring leave time to head back into Hobart and start comparing brews at Cascade, Australia’s oldest brewery.

You may want to book ahead in order to join a tour group or book a table if travelling as part of a group – just to make sure that you don’t miss out on this truly unforgettable experience.

After sampling gourmet cheeses and the best types of home-brew, you will want to take a walk around Salamanca Place (if you haven’t done so already) and Battery Point.

The harbour is easily one of the city’s main attractions and you can easily spend an afternoon watching boats sail by. It is also a great place to dine on fresh local seafood. If you have been rushing around all day, it is a great place to come back to, to slow down and conclude the day.

Richmond Bridge Image Credit - TripAdvisor

Constitution Dock Hobart Tasmania

Tour out to the Coal River Valley by Trike

The River Derwent - Image Credit - Ned247

Salamanca Market Hobart

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Mar
27
2012
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Autumn is a great time to head out into the great outdoors and catch a breath of fresh air.

But rather then going for a Sunday drive, why not try your hand at bike riding around Tasmania?

Cycling is growing in popularity across Australia, with more and more people strapping on a helmet and setting off for the day.

Whether you are keen to explore local markets or want to really push your physical limits on a challenging course, you will be able to find an activity or route that caters to your needs.

One of the most popular cycling routes in Tasmania is a ten day journey from Launceston to Hobart.

This fully guided tour follows the coastline between the two cities and will have you stopping at all the main landmarks such as St Helens, Bicheno, Wineglass Bay, the Spiky Bridge, Richmond, Salamanca Place, and Mt Wellington.
 
After spending your day climbing hills and speeding down steep descents, you can unwind with new friends and enjoy some of the best wine as well as gourmet food that Tasmania has to offer (not included in price).

Along with the feeling of accomplishment that comes with completing a long ride, you can sleep soundly of an evening in your choice or hostel, budget, economy, or superior accommodation after a long refreshing hot bath or shower.

Cycle Touring Image Credit 101ThingstoDo

Cycling in Tasmania with Tasmanian Expeditions - Image Credit - S Trudgeon

Touring  - Image Credit David Dossor from Wave Journey

Looks Flat Definitely is Not - Image Credit Australian Cycling Forums

Frank and Andrew source 'Travelling Two' - Cycling in Tasmania

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Mar
25
2012
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Tropfest screenings are on again this year ready to showcase the best in local film and screen entertainment at the Peacock Theatre, Salamanca Arts Centre in Hobart.

This locally produced event draws its inspiration from the hugely popular Sydney Tropfest, which began as a group of friends meeting in a suburban cafe.

It has since been transformed into one of the country's most popular cultural icons, and is already attracting a large following in the island state.

The brainchild of not-for-profit Wide Angle – an organisation with over 800 members and a vibrant screening programme – the Tassie Tropfest is open to locals who submitted an entry in Tropfest 2012.

In addition to being a great opportunity for film makers to showcase their work to a broader audience, it unites like-minded people with a passion for music, art, drama and big screen entertainment.

Having a number of short films for people to see has the added bonus of helping to grow the local film culture and foster up and coming talent.

Tickets to the event are free of charge, but you will have to book ahead in order to reserve your seat. The next screening will take place on April 4 from 19.00.

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Mar
24
2012
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Wildlife watching in Tasmania is one of those very real experiences where you get to step into the wilderness and see animals in their natural habitat.

As the world's oldest surviving carnivorous marsupials, Devils may be glimpsed at Naramntapu National Park, Mount William National Park, the Arthur River and in the highland lakes area. For those who are already holidaying in Cradle Mountain, the Lake St Clair National Park may be a closer option. In these areas you will most certainly still hear them.

Bennett’s Wallabies, and possums are extremely common and can be seen almost everywhere after hours. In fact, locals know to drive carefully after sun down in rural areas.

There is still time to see a number of native animals before they hibernate for winter, but just make sure to check with the local Parks & Wildlife Service to find the best viewing spots.

Whales, porpoises, dolphins, fur seals, fairy penguins and sea eagles are just a few of the many different marine animals that call the state's seas and beaches home.

With more than 5,400 km of coastline to explore, you will be hard pressed to spend a weekend or afternoon without catching a glimpse of these rare and exotic creatures.

Classic Tasmanian Devil

Seals on Bruny Island

Wallaby - photo Max Moller

Echidna Foraging in a domestic Image Credit I-image

Sea Eagles in Flight

Petra from Bonorong Wildlife Park and Morris

Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine-Australia) from Gould's Book

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Mar
23
2012
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Hobart's many laneways have a reputation for chance encounters, stolen kisses and impromptu meet ups with friends.

And for one night only the hidden nooks and crannies that have come to define Salamanca precinct will turn into a celebration of the city's misspent youth, with the Kelly's Steps Second Landing Party.

Undercover performers, musicians and dramatists will be on hand for the night to turn small spaces into cultural hubs.

Prepare to be wowed by the local musicians, dramatists and dancers that will be lining the streets from 18.00 to 23.00 and creating a carnival atmosphere.

Whether you enjoy tapping your feet to the rhythm of Bluegrass classics or have a hidden penchant for 70s punk, you will be sure to find something that makes you feel as if you are reliving your teenage years.

You can feast your eyes on this spectacular event by wandering through the Peacock Theatre – it will be donning a psychedelic theme for the evening – and prepare for an explosion of sound and colour in this small but beloved laneway.

After you have caught up with friends and swayed your hips to the disco beats, you might want to grab a refreshing drink at Kelly's Garden bar.

Just make sure that you are heading out with a group of friends in order to make the most of the carnival atmosphere.

Organisers are hoping that guests will take advantage of this intimate event and walk away feeling happily confused, laughing the night away.

It is also a great way to meet new people and introduce friends to the cultural underbelly of Tasmania.

Kelly's Steps Second Landing Party is free to all visitors on March 30 2012 at Salamanca Place, Hobart. There is disability access for those who require this service, but it is best to check with organisers about the best entry points.

Second Landing Party Web Site screenshot

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Mar
22
2012
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Scenic flights are a great way to see Tasmania and there are a number of small airlines and charter operators to help you explore the island state any time of year.

Whether you are keen to fly over the top of cascading waterfalls, skirt the side of mountain peaks or explore the rich beauty of the country’s southernmost tip, you can find a flight to suit your needs.

Among some of the more popular tours are helicopter flights that set off from Cradle Mountain, the North West, Launceston and Strahan – taking you on a journey through untamed wilderness and along our wild coastlines.

If you prefer the comfort of a trusty Cessna 172 (high-winged plane) but still want to see places that are off the beaten track you can easily opt for a flight with Freycinet Air.

These spectacular 30 minute scenic flights will have you feeling as if you are living the high life without breaking the holiday budget.

But if you really want to travel like a movie star then you might want to channel your inner Maverick and discover the mighty Gordon and Franklin Rivers by air.

These particular tours from Strahan are famous for deep valleys, spying extreme rapids and the chance to land on glistening reflection-filled water in a seaplane. A shore excursion will take you past ancient huon pines and contemplative moments near sublime Sir John Falls.

If Hobart is your base, then you can explore all of these airborne adventures, plus Port Arthur (landing in the bay opposite the ruins, a scenic flight over Hobart and the River Derwent, or even a unique transfer to MONA with Tasmanian Air Adventures from their seaplane mooring at Kings Pier right on the waterfront.

Freycinet Air Cessna 172 over the Hazards  Image Credit - Sam Merlo

HeliAdventures private charters Image Credit - HeliAdventures facebook Harley&Lisa

Strahan Sea Planes & Helicopters plane on the Gordon River

Strahan Sea Planes & Helicopters over West Coast Ranges

Tasmanian Air Adventures Dockside at Kings Pier

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Mar
21
2012
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The historic town of Stanley is home to a number of tourist attractions along its remote but striking coastline.

Located in the far north-west of Tasmania the town has undergone a number of transformations since it was first established as an administrative centre for the Van Diemen's Land Company – a group of London merchants specialising in wool.

In recent years however, it is the area's natural beauty and a sheer-sided bluff known as The Nut rather than business nous that has caught the eye of would-be residents and visitors to the north-west.

The Nut is thought to be the remains of an ancient volcanic plug – the lava neck of a volcano – that was once active in the region. One thinks, if this was the central core, it must have been one heck of a great little volcano.

Walks to the top of The Nut cater to a range of ability levels and are a great way to explore another dimension of the whole area, but if your knees are hinting at being troublesome, you might want to take the chairlift to the top so that you don't risk missing out on seeing spectacular views across Bass Strait.

Stanley has another side to it other than history. There is fascinating local flora and fauna to get to know: seals, penguins, sea birds and many other native animals call this less populated part of Tasmania home. And it is base for a small fishing fleet which in season brings all manner of bounty to shore. You’ve seen the photos of fish being sold from the trawlers – this is where it happens!

The Nut has many moods in the changing light of day. Image Credit - Stanley Rotary

Stanley's imposing 'The Nut'

Stanley township ultra quaint and charming image credit - SporlederArt

Walking down The Nut at Stanley. Image Credit - karana

Vista from the top of The Nut. Image Credit - Stanley Alarm Monitoring

Stanley Wharves at night

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Mar
20
2012
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More than just a popular caving destination, Mole Creek is also a gateway to the rugged mountain peaks, spectacular waterfalls and mystical beauty that have come to define the central north of Tasmania.

Originally part of a trade route, this small rural town has undergone a number of transformations since it was first established in the late 1800s.

Remnants of a flourishing timber industry and the town's rich forestry history are still visible, but it is the area's limestone caves and countryside that have continued to attract tourists.

There are more than 300 caves to explore in Mole Creek and regular tours of some of the best spots are available upon request.

If you prefer the experience that comes with a guided tour then you might like to make the journey to Mole Creek Karst National Park and take a closer look at the Marakoopa and King Solomon caves.

The Marakoopa cave is home to a number of underground streams that make caving more exciting, as well as more than just a few glow worms.

More experienced cavers may prefer to take a slightly more challenging route and discover parts of Tasmania that are not accessible to the general public.

After spending the day outdoors, you might want to take a break and visit the nearby Trowunna Wildlife Park and Devil Research Centre.

The park is a wildlife sanctuary and home to a variety of rare birds, reptiles and marsupials that you may not see anywhere else in the world.

Keen bushwalkers will no doubt want to go on one of the many short and slightly more challenging trails around Mole Creek.

The Liffey Falls walk is a must-do activity for your Tasmanian bucket list with its mix of picnic facilities, lush green ferns and breathtaking waterfalls.

 Mole Creek Sunset

Mole Creek  Caves

Liffey Falls

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Mar
19
2012
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This Is What I Do showcases the work of seven Australian artists with a passion for video and self-broadcast aesthetics.

Contemporary video artists Tim Woodward, Matt Dabrowski, Richard Grayson, Matthew Bradley, Andrew Harper, Danius Kesminas and Michael Stevenson will present a range of audio-visual materials that are said to take their inspiration from early video art, community television and video sharing sites such as YouTube.

It is this combination of high and low art that organisers hope will strike a cord with visitors to the March 23 to April 29 exhibition, as well as open a discussion about the impact digital technology has on the way we interpret and engage with the world around us.

Contemporary Art Spaces Tasmania (CAST) curator and art critic Wes Hill described the upcoming display as the coming together of different genres and people in a new, often online, forum that values both professional and DIY video.

"I hope to highlight an historical lineage between digital culture, community television and pioneering video artists such as William Wegman and Andy Warhol – centred on the simple function of video as a tool for broadcasting figures and events," he explained.

The installation takes a closer look at the ubiquitous nature of self-produced content and the different ways modern technology helps individuals to share videos with relative ease. It also examines the emerging popularity of user-generated web sites that take art into the living room and away from the influence or control of critics.

This exhibition is in many ways a celebration of video, but there is also a warning for consumers and artists alike about the pace of change in today's technology driven society.

CAST is a not for profit organisation that regularly showcases the works of established and up-and-coming Tasmanian Artists from its studio in North Hobart. The gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday from 12.00 to 17.00.

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